16 years may have passed since the last episode of Friends first aired, but it’s time to set the record straight: there was only one man for Rachel and it wasn’t that wet lettuce, Ross Geller, it can only be Joey.
If there’s a more revered show than Friends I’ve yet to see it. It’s been described as ‘the world’s favourite sitcom’, and has had millions of people habitually clapping along to the intro since 1994. After 10 seasons and over 70 famous guest appearances, the cast became national treasures, and the only semi-tolerated divide in opinion is on who was the best character (ahem, Chandler).
So what I’m about to say is probably as controversial as the finale of Game of Thrones (which, fyi, was dreadful. Don’t even try to fight me on this one).
To set the scene, I recently binge-watched the entire 10 seasons of Friends within the space of a month. And what’s worse (cue the gasps): it was the first time I’ve seen it all the way through.
If you haven’t had an aneurysm or imploded from sheer, unadulterated disgust then yeah, I had all the usual reactions… Ross and Rachel were not on a break. Shouldn’t there be some law against Richard being that old but that hot? Chandler and Monica were made for each other. Oh and yeah, Rachel belongs with Joey.
Yeah, listen up people of the world, ‘cause I’m only gonna say this about 15 times:
Joey and Rachel should’ve got together
Yes, die-hard Friends fans, I can hear your collective groaning. But I couldn’t care less about lobsters, breaks or proms. I care about the fact that Ross was a miserable, whiney, jealous, possessive bore-fest. Someone who’d obsessed about trophy girlfriend Rachel from his early teens.
Sure, I ugly-cried when Ross and Rachel kissed in the doorway of Central Perk to that rousing guitar solo. But that was after a year of on-screen romantic tension, and before all his annoying in-a-relationship-with-Rachel traits came out.
So if you wanna know why Joey and Rachel should’ve absolutely got together, here it is:
6. Joey and Rachel were friends before anything happened
A solid relationship is often built on friendship, and Joey had been friends with Rachel for seven years before he realised he had feelings for her.
As a friend, he was always supportive of Rachel in every way. He encouraged her to quit her job at Central Perk and pursue her dreams – even getting her an interview at Fortunata Fashions. Yeah, it was short-lived… but Joey got Rachel onto the ladder of her dream industry. This is in direct contrast to Ross who only jeopardized her career through his jealousy and possessiveness.
5. Joey’s respectfulness allowed him to put her feelings first
Joey tried to forget about his feelings for Rachel. Despite him loving her, he encouraged Rachel to move out of their apartment and move in with Ross so that he could be more involved with his baby.
When Joey eventually admitted his feelings to Ross, he assured him that he wasn’t going to act on them. Ross ultimately gave Joey permission to tell Rachel… but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Joey had respect for them, and was a true friend to both.
Ross, on the other hand, slept with that girl from the copy place on the same day Rachel suggested they take some time out. Jerk.
4. Joey begged Rachel to stay at the apartment with the baby
Despite Joey’s love for the ladies, he begged Rachel not to move out, even though she was pregnant.
Most young, single guys with a pregnant roommate would be thanking their lucky stars if they offered to move out voluntarily. A baby can severely hamper game, y’know?
But not Joey. Despite Rachel reminding him that a baby would be noisy and take up a lot of space, he begged her not to move out – and that was before he even had feelings for her.
3. Joey fell in love with Rachel whilst she was pregnant
Women are beautiful whether they’re expecting or not. But most who’ve been pregnant will tell you that it’s probably the time they felt their most insecure appearance-wise.
But Joey fell in love with Rachel when she felt her most uncomfortable, and in spite of her being pregnant with his friend’s child.
He reassured her when she was scared, took her to the hospital when she was worried and was there for her in ways that Ross simply wasn’t.
2. Joey blew off a date simply to make Rachel feel special
Joey lived for two things: sex and sandwiches. He was prepared to take a bullet for a sandwich, and he was willing to sacrifice a night of passion for Rachel.
After some months of pregnancy, Rachel was sad that she wouldn’t be able to date again for some time and told Joey how much she missed it. Joey’s response wasn’t just a pat on the back and a fare thee well: he blew off his date to take Rachel out instead. He even picked her up at their door and bought her flowers.
He wanted her to know that she was still sexy and beautiful. Something we never thought we’d see from the guy whose pick-up line was “how you doin’?”.
1. Joey never loved anyone but Rachel
Everyone knows that Joey was the most promiscuous of the gang. But when it came to dating, he wasn’t a long-term kinda guy, and freaked almost as much as Chandler at the thought of commitment.
So for Joey to fall in love with anyone was a huge deal – even more so a person that he’d never so much as kissed.
In the space of 10 seasons, Ross had been in love with more women than Chandler had had witty one-liners.
Contrast that with Joey who, in 10 seasons of Friends, only ever said he loved one person…Rachel.
Joey’s love for Rachel had the best possible foundation: friendship. Not infatuation with his sister’s best mate because she was the most popular girl in school.
No, Joey fell in love with Rachel for Rachel. He supported her, encouraged her, cared for her, and believed in her.
He was the Noah to her Allie. The Romeo to her Juliet. And even when it didn’t work out for them, he accepted it graciously (take note, Geller) and did the thing that people who shared something special do: remained friends and never stopped caring about her.
Yes, no matter what anyone else says, Joey and Rachel should’ve got together. His love for Rachel was real and pure. And if that doesn’t get you in the feels, I dunno what will.
Do you agree that Rachel and Joey should’ve been together in Friends? Or do you think Ross and Rachel were always meant to be? Leave us a comment in the box below.
Check out all of the Friends guest stars HERE
Read IMDB information about Friends HERE.
Squid Game – Review
The Players and Games
On 17 September 2021, South Korean, Netflix series Squid Game was released. Unbeknown to many including writer and creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, this nine-part drama quickly became the most talked about and watched show around the world.
The extremely well written, staged and thought-out show is a mix of ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Battel Royal’ all rolled into one. To make an intense and binge-able series from start to finish.
The series can be watched with subtitles or dubbed. We would suggest watching it subtitled as some of the dubbed voiceovers don’t quite match up to the characters and you can lose some of the intensity in the scenes. With both options, however, you will still be able to get a good handle of the story, as you follow hundreds of money-poor contestants take on the deadly childhood games.
SPOILERS: If you haven’t watched the whole of Squid Game yet. Stop reading here as we are about to review the players and the games, with some hefty spoilers added in.
All dressed in green tracksuits the players are the focus of the story, and the costuming made sure they did just that. In Screen Rants video Squid Game: 15 Things You Missed, we find out that Dong-hyuk wanted the players in school uniforms. But after realising they would have to wear shorts and skirts, he went with the PE style tracksuits in green, the opposite colour to red on the colour wheel… to make sure the blood stood out.
The game starts with 456 players, but there are eight main characters, who we are invited to find out more about within the story.
Seong Gi-hun (player 456)
The very first player we are introduced to is gambling addict Seong Gi-hun, Played by actor and successful model Lee Jung-jae. Gi-hun lives with his mother, bets all her money on horses, has a lot of debts, and gets his own daughter’s birthday gift from an arcade game. Which cleverly links to the boxes they use for coffins, within the game.
Gi-hun, is a great main character because through his lies and bad habits, his narrative is written to show that he has a compassionate side too, which you can relate to.
Kang Sae-byeok (player 067)
The next character we meet is Kang Sae-byeok, portrayed perfectly by model Jung Ho-yeon, in her first ever acting role. The character arc of the strong, independent, pickpocket, is so interesting and endearing to watch. She goes from depending on herself to becoming part of a team and putting her trust in others.
Her back story is of wanting money to help her brother leave an orphanage and to move her mother from North to South Korea. This puts her in a very sympathetic light which urges us the viewer to root for her.
Cho Sang-woo (Player 218)
The next player we are introduced to is Cho Sang-woo, this complex character played by popular TV actor Park Hae Soo. His own story and mannerisms are what make him such an interesting and confusing character who one minute you like, for example when he helps the team out in tug-of-war game or the other minute you despise especially after the stunt he pulled with Ali, in the marble arena. This makes him one of the best characters to have in a show like this as he is unpredictable, like we saw at the end of game six.
Oh il-Nam (player 001)
The heart and soul of the team… or so we thought! Was Oh il-Nam player 001- we should have known!
One of the smartest players in the game was expertly played by actor and writer, Oh Young-soothe. The likable old man had us going all the way to the end and even made some of us cry in the marble game making the twist at the end of the series even better.
Jang Deok-Su (Player 101)
All good games need a villain, luckily there were a lot within the 456 players, but none were as bad as actor Heo Sung-tae’s portrayal of tatted Jang Deok-su.
Player 101, comes in hitting one of the female players and leaves being dragged down by another one! His well-written character had us shouting at the screen and hoping for a worthy death, and after his betrayal to Han Mi-nyeo before tug of war, she served him the cruel departure from the game we had all hoped for.
Abdul Ali (Player 199)
After saving Gi-Hun in the red light, green light game. Abdul Ali showed not only his strength but his love and trust in others which unfortunately would also become his demise…Thanks to snaky Sang-woo.
Actor Anupam Tripathi took his first big TV role and ran with it becoming one of the most loved characters in the series. Even getting a barrage of meme’s made for the character following his wrongful and underhanded death.
Han Mi-nyeo (Player 212)
Due to the copious amounts of death and blood, it’s always wise to have a little comic relief. Han Mi-nyeo’s character was certainly that, with her frequently used catchphrase of ‘I’m good at everything, except for the things I’m not’. Portrayed by Californian born actress Kim Joo-ryeong, the loud and obnoxious character really gave the competitive edge to the game, especially in the honeycomb games when she cheated, using a lighter to melt the candy! Her character, however, did get a little grating at times.
Ji-yeong (Player 240)
Our biggest issue with this character was that there was simply not enough screen time! Played by Lee Yoo-mi in her first major role, the character of Ji-yeong captured our hearts in just three episodes. Particularly as we got to know more about her harrowing backstory if only there was a way that both Ji-yeong and Sae-byeok could have left the marble arena together!
The main part of the story of Squid Game, is the six schoolyard games, which the players must play and win to get their hands on the life-changing sum of money.
Game 1: Red Light, Green Light.
The aim of the game is not to move when the ‘creepiest doll in history’ is looking, otherwise you are eliminated, and in this game, this doesn’t just mean out! When the ‘creepy doll’ isn’t looking you need to run as quick as you can and try and cross the line within the time frame. Sounds easy right? Not when you realise if you move… you die!
Red Light, Green Light is where the players realise what kind of game they are involved in and where we lost over half to the players too!
The schoolyard set and creepy doll voice just add to the tension of this game, which is also amplified by the visuals of the game in play accompanied by the switch over to the Front Man as he watched the game through monitors whilst listening to the song ‘Fly me to the moon’.
Game 2: Honeycomb/Dalgano Candy
To be safe in this game you need to successfully cut out a shape from Honeycomb, without damaging or breaking the shape. The only tool you are given to help you is a needle.
At the beginning of this game, we truly see the back-stabbing side of Sang-woo, as he realises what game it is, as the players start to pick their shape, before knowing what they need to do.
In the know, Sang-woo goes for the easiest shape, a triangle, and neglects to warn the others as Gi-Hun walks over to pick the hardest shape, the umbrella. This game separates the cheaters from the thinkers as Mi-nyeo and Deok-su use a lighter and Gi-Hun uses his brain and licks the shape free.
The climbing frames, bright colours, childish music and gunshots provide the perfect setting to make this whole scene completely unnerving for the players and the viewers.
Game 3: Tug of War
In teams of ten, it’s time for the players to play Tug of War. The main basis of this game needs no introduction, but instead of being pulled into a pile of mud like the classic game… you get pulled to your death.
Due to the Dr, Player 111, and his extra gameplay with some of the guards. (That involved selling body parts) Deok-su and his team know what game was coming up and managed to put together a team of strongmen to win their heat. Unfortunately, Gi-hun and his team didn’t have the same knowledge and in turn looked to have a weaker team than others. Luckily Il-Nam and Sang-Woo had solid gameplay ideas which saved the team.
The setting for Tug of War, took a bit of a dark turn and away from the schoolyard setting. With yellow and grey platforms set in a pitch-black room. Within this game, we lost half the players.
Game 4: Marbles
With this series, we all had the fear that at one point out favourites would be pitted against each other but not this early! Asked to pair up the players thought they would be playing together in teams like the last game, but that was not the case.
In the game of Marbles, the pairs were left to decide for themselves what game they wanted to play, with the loser being eliminated!
Probably one of the hardest games to watch as most pairs were playing a game of chance. If you were anything like us, we were hoping there was going to be another twist where some of the characters would survive in pairs but instead, we lost some big players and learned who were not to be trusted.
Having two games back-to-back where we lost half the players each time really helped keep the momentum of the story.
Game 5: Glass Bridge
To start this horrifying game of chance, the players had to pick their order, before knowing what the game was which led to a very tense moment where Gi Hun, almost went first. His indecisiveness helping him hugely here.
The aim of this game is for the remaining players to make their way across the glass bridge hopping from glass square to glass square, hoping to land on the tempered glass, rather than the normal glass which would break instantly sending them plummeting to their death.
Again, set in a pitch-black room with a few lights this game was intense! But it did however whittled the players down to three and showed Sang-woo’s ‘do anything for the money’ character again.
The added glass blasts at the end of the game also added an extra twist of tension as front runner Sae-byeok got severely injured.
Game 6: The Squid Game
With only two players left after Sang-woo eliminated Sae-byeok with a dinner knife, it was on to the final game and namesake of the series, Squid Game.
This game is divided into attacker (Gi-hun) and defender (Sang-woo). The attackers’ objective is to reach the “home” square marked on the opposite side of the field, while the defender’s purpose is to block them and push them out to win.
However, let’s be honest we saw very little gameplay as it ended up in a fight between the two finalists. The end of the game was gripping to watch, particularly with the knives in play and Gi-huns indecisive personality. Just as we think it’s all over, rather than putting his foot in the home square Gi-hun tries to get an injured Sang-woo to walk away from the game so they can both survive, giving up on the money.
But it a massive twist Sang-woo picks up the knife from the floor and instead of killing Gi-hun, like we anticipated, he kills himself. This was a great call from writer Hwang Dong-hyuk as it was unexpected and gave us a little extra from Sang-woos character. However, we can’t help but think that maybe it would have been a bigger twist if Sang-woo did kill Gi-Hun and won the games as no one was routing for him.
What do you think about our thoughts on the players and games within Squid Game? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out book to movie adaptations coming soon HERE.
Read IMDB information about Squid Game HERE.
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